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Rob Driscoll

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It's a Balloon World After All - Spain

Hola ¿Cómo te va?

Last week I mentioned I would be visiting South America, well I changed my mind, I was going to do this one next week however I brought it forward a week for various reasons. Mainly because this week I am taking my balloon twisting to Spain, Barcelona to be precise, I figured it would be a good idea to actually share my Spanish balloonagraphic in the week I actually go to Spain.

I found Spain quite a difficult country, Spain is known for so many different amazing things I found it tricky deciding what to make out of balloons. While researching the country I found a lot of references to lots of well know Spanish artists, Picasso, Salvador Dali, Goya, the list goes on so I figured it would be great to do something related to art, I WAS going to do something that looked like a Picasso painting but I ended up making the paint palette as that covers ALL the artists of Spain.

The Spanish are passionate about their football so I thought it would be a good idea to make their national football shirt, plus something that Spain is well known for by us Brits is the wonderful long hot days sunbathing on those glorious sunny beaches.

The Traje de flamenca is the traditional dress worn by women to festivals usually in the Andalucia area of Spain, Flamenco dancers will also wear flowers in their hair and that is what my little balloon lay is wearing to represent her country.

Next week I WILL be taking my first virtual visit to South America on my balloon world tour, so until then, Adios.

#spain #spanish #pallette #paint #art #paintbrush #brush #parasol #umbrella #beach #sea #scene #sand #shirt #football #soccer #flamenco #dance #dancer # #Traje #de #flamenca #balloon #balloons #balloonart #balloontwisting #balloontwist #aroundtheworld #around #the #world #bowtieballoonguy
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It's a Balloon World After All - Vietnam


Hello everyone, This week I am taking a virtual trip to the exotic far east with a trip to Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of world's richest agricultural regions and is the second-largest exporter worldwide, it is also the the world's seventh-largest consumer of rice which is why I included the bowl of rice and chopsticks to this balloonagraphic (balloon+graphic).

While researching the architecture of Vietnam I discovered that there are a lot of similarities to neighbouring countries , one of the buildings I saw a lot of was the Pagoda which is more commonly linked to Japan, I was going to make a pagoda for Japan but made something else instead so I was delighted to be able to include a pagoda here for Vietnam.

The Vietnamese junk (boat) was made at a recent balloon jam, Vietnam has a lot of links with water and the sea, fish is a major part of Vietnamese diet and I really love these types of boat.

Last but not least I have my little Vietnamese person, wearing her traditional Asian conical hat, this type of hat serves many purposes, it protects from the sun and rain, it can also be dipped into water and worn as an impromptu evaporative-cooling device. These hats are usually worn by farmers so I would like to imagine my little Vietnamese lady is a vietnamese rice farmer.

Next week I am taking my first trip to South America.

#vietnam #vietnamese #boat #junk #sails #sail #ship #rice #bowl #chopstick #chopsticks #pagoda #temple #asian #conical #hat #balloon #balloons #balloonart #balloontwisting #balloontwist #aroundtheworld #around #the #world #farmer #bowtieballoonguy #robdriscoll #asia
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150 - Ben Macdui - Moray, Aberdeenshire - 19th June 2017
I woke up on Day 7 of my Scotland adventure to the sound of rain on my tent, It had been raining pretty much solidly for the last 3 or 4 days and it was really starting to bring me down but it was time to move campsites and head off to a different part for ...
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149 - Bidean nam Bian - Argyll - 17th June 2017
Day 5 of my trip to Scotland had arrived and it was time to pack up my tent and move on to another campsite, after a quick breakfast I loaded the car and headed off first south along the banks of Loch Lomond, then along the southern edge, stopping off for s...
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It's a Balloon World After All - Israel

Shalom, Mah Ha’Inyanim? This week I am in the country of Israel, the land of milk and honey.

The star of David was something I just had to make, I think it was actually my friend Danny who suggested I make this for when I visited Israel and it is lucky that the Star of David is such an easy shape to make with balloons, all it took were 2 balloons, each one with 3 simple twists in them.

The next thing I wanted to make was a menorah, a sacred candelabrum with between 5 and 9 branches depending on what it is used for, this one is a 7 branched menorah and should originally be made out of solid gold.
According to the Times of Israel "Becoming not only Judaism’s oldest symbol, but also the Western world’s oldest continuously used religious symbol, the menorah once stood in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. The seven-branched candelabrum (nine-branched for Hanukkah) has been a source of fascination and illumination for Jews, Samaritans, Christians and also Freemasons for three millennia."

Below the menorah I have made a diamond, Israel is one of the world's three major centers for polished diamonds, diamond cutting is a traditional Jewish craft going back centuries. At the top left of the picture I have created a balloon version of one of the most familiar buildings in Israel, The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem. I am not really a religious person however I am always fascinated by religious sites like this.

Last but not least we have my little Rabbi, He actually came about by accident, I was trying to make a different character and then suddenly this little chap appeared, a very happy accident.

Well that is it for Israel, I found it a difficult country to research and I really didn't want to get anything wrong so apologies if I have made any mistakes with this country.

Next week I am off to a land made up of over 6,800 islands.

#israel #diamond #star #starofdavid #rock #dome #domeoftherock #menorah #candle #candles #rabbi #shalom #balloon #balloons #ballonart #aroundtheworld #around #world #david #bowtieballoonguy
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It's a Balloon World After All - India
नमस्ते ।
Hello everyone, I am certainly covering some miles in my virtual journey around the world, If I was actually doing this journey then I would already be over 25000 miles of travelling. This week my virtual journey is taking me to the very colourful country of India. (I must stress here, I am not actually visiting these countries, this is a virtual journey around the world)

India is such a diverse country with many different cultures I found it hard to pin down and choose the items to make from balloons, Items which I thought represented this beautiful country. I first started by making one of the most sacred animals in the country, the Cow, Worshiped by millions of Hindus across the country, the Cow provides life sustaining milk and therefore is seen as a maternal figure, a caretaker of her people. The cow is a symbol of the divine bounty of earth.

Another sacred animal is the Snake and I could not resist making a snake in a basket, Snake charming has been a form of performance in India for hundreds of years and although it is still practiced today Snake charming has become less and less common on the streets of India.

The musical instrument that looks a bit like a long guitar is called a Sitar. it was first developed in the 7th century and seems to be a very complex instrument with either 18, 19, 20, or 21 strings (and I struggle to play my 4 string ukulele).

One of the most famous sights of India is of course the Taj Mahal, Situated in Agra, this 365 year old mausoleum stands on the banks of the Yamuna river and was built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Finally I have my little Indian princess in her Saree with the Bindi decoration on her forehead.

Next week I am staying in the exotic far east so until then, जल्दी मिलेंगे ।

India# namaste# indian# snake# basket# charmer# cow# bull# cattle# moo# cobra# sitar# guitar# taj# mahal# temple# balloon# agra# balloons# balloonart# around# world# aroundtheworld# bindi# hindu# princess# bowtieballoonguy#

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It's a Balloon World After All - Japan

Konnichiwa, O-genki desu ka,

Hello everyone, This week I am having a look at Japan, the land of the rising sun. I have always wanted to go to Japan, I am sure I will do one day.

So first off I wanted to recreate the Japanese Torii, this is a type of gate that is found at the entrance or within a Shinto shrine, it marks the transition from the profane to sacred. Personally I think the most famous Torii is the Itsukushima Shrine, found in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, at high tide it appears to float on the water.

I love the architecture of Japan, there is something so wonderful about the traditional Japanese designs and I just had to include an element from the Japanese Rock garden (or Zen Garden). Rocks are an important part of the Japanese garden and as you can see I have created a small pile of balloon rocks.

Every year in spring an incredible natural event sweeps its was across Japan, starting in the far south of the country the cherry trees come to life with their amazing pink blossom, slowly moving north over the spring months the cherry blossoms attract thousands of people to partake in hanami, which literally translates as “looking as flowers” and refers to flower appreciation picnics under the trees.

The folding hand fan was invented in Japan and may date back to the 6th century, here I have made a hand fan, they would typically be made from Japanese cypress and paper or silk. Finally I felt I had to make a Geisha, a traditional Japanese female entertainer who would act as a hostess. They have many skills including Japanese classical music and traditional dance, witty games and conversation. I always imagine them performing the Japanese Tea ceremony.

I do hope you are enjoying my project, do you have a country you would like to see? Let me know by commenting on this post, it would be great to hear some suggestions. Until next week, sayōnara.

#japan #japanese #balloonworld #balloon #world #balloons #balloonart #art #aroundtheworld #around #the #world #geisha #zen #garden #torii #gate #gateway #archway #arch #cherry #blossom #cherryblossom #fan #handfan #konnichiwa #pebble #stone #stones

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It's a Balloon World After All - Morocco

Ssalamū 'lekum, This week I am taking a virtual trip to my first African country, it is Morocco, I have never been to Morocco so it has been very interesting researching it for the project.

The first things I made for my photo were the moroccan slippers, when I started researching the country these were one of the first things I discovered and felt I really wanted to have a go at making them. In real life these slippers are often made of leather or covered in fine embroidery and decoration but I have gone for a plain pair.

The next thing I made was a Moroccan lamp, I have made mine to have brightly coloured glass, these are often highly decorated and the sides have elaborate shapes and patterns cut into them. The Ship of the desert was an obvious choice and in Morocco the camels are mostly dromedaries (one humped) and are usually owned and domesticated to a certain degree.

The Tower I have made is based on the tower from the largest Mosque in Marrakesh, the Koutoubia Mosque. This mosque has been standing for well over 800 years and stands at about 77 metres high.

Lastly I have my Moroccan man, when I first started to create my little balloon figures I knew I wanted to make a Fez and this led to a discussion about the origin of this well known hat. I knew it was named after a place and it soon became clear that it is named after the City of Fez in Morocco.

Next week I am off to a country whose capital city is home to over 100 Sushi restaurants making it the city with the most sushi restaurants per capita after Tokyo and NYC, it also hosts a rollerblading party every Tuesday night.

#morocco #camel #dromedary #lamp #slipper #slippers #mosque #tower #marrakesh #fez #balloonworld #balloon #world #balloons #balloonart #art #aroundtheworld #around #world
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It's A Balloon World After All - Norway
Hei alle, hvordan har du det? This week I am taking a look at one of my favourite places in the world, it is Norway. Norway is a country full of fascinating history and culture, it is also one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The main thing I wanted to include was a Norwegian troll, here I have made a cave troll, very different from the current popular troll seen in the movie and as toys as those originate from Denmark. Norwegian trolls date back thousands of years and come in all shapes and sizes, they are often dim witted and slow but can sometimes look a bit like human beings too. These days Trolls are described as dangerous and they should be avoided.

Tourism has become a huge business in recent years and part of this is due to the Whale watching trips that take place throughout the year. There are 21 different species of Whale that visit the waters of Norway from Dolphins and Orca to Blue Whales and Humpbacks. As you can imagine fishing is also a major part of the cuisine with Salmon, herring, trout and cod being the main catch.

The history of Norway is dominated by the Vikings, the Viking age started in the year 793 and Viking settlements could be found all across Scandinavia. I have included a viking shield in my picture along with the whale and the school of fish.

Finally my Norwegian lady is wearing the traditional Bunad, an elaborate costume with embroidery, typically it is worn with scarves, shawls and hand-made silver or gold jewelry known as sølje.

Next week I am heading somewhere much warmer than Norway, it will be my first African country and is the worlds largest exporter of Sardines.

#Norway #norwegian #balloon #balloons #balloonart #fish #schoolo fish #whale #bunad #cod #salmon #herring #viking #vikings #shield #troll #cavetroll #scandinavia #aroundtheworld #balloonworld
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148 - Ben Lomond - Stirlingshire - 15th June 2017
I was now on day 4 of my 12 day trip to some of the highpoints of Scotland and to give you a quick recap - I was staying at the lovely Forestry Commision run Sallochy campsite on the banks of Loch Lomond, the weather was a mixture of sunny with showers, yes...
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